The Pace Of SSDs Is Pushing The Hard Drive Market Closer To The Brink


Pointers at Glance

  • The new report says that the rise of SSD adoption is pushing the hard drive market closer to a significant fall.
  • The demand for most HDD segments fell by doubt-digit percentages across the period.

A new report suggests that the combined effect of a drop-off in PC demand and the pace of SSD adoption led to a significant fall in complex drive shipments last quarter.

Although the picture looks slightly bleak regarding performance-focused enterprise drives and nearline units, demand for most HDD segments fell by doubt-digit percentages across the period.

Is It The End Of The HDD?

Commentators have emphasized the immediacy of the threat to the hard drive market posed by SSDs. Although HDDs are slower, the cost per capacity remains lower, which means organizations that need to store vast volumes of data still stand to benefit.

However, as solid state drives become quicker, cheaper and more capacious, the number of use cases for the HDD is undoubtedly shrinking.

Earlier this year, Micron became the first company to ship 176-layer QLC NAND flash at volume, a development that could bring SSDs to even the cheapest laptops.

Microsoft is also preparing to force PC manufacturers to abandon HDD boot drives, presumably to increase the level and consistency of performance across Windows 11 hardware. Though the ban applies exclusively to boot drives, dual-drive systems are scarce, meaning HDDs will effectively be driven to the fringes of the PC market.

Meanwhile, In an enterprise context, it is expected that the maximum SSD capacity will jump significantly off the back of new technologies, closing the gap on hard drives from a cost-per-capacity perspective.

HDDs are also being squeezed from the opposite direction; increases in the capacity of magnetic tape means the case for using hard drives for archival purposes is increasingly weak.

Although analysts maintain that businesses are best served by maintaining a balanced storage stack comprised of tape, HDDs and SSDs, which should cover every use case most economically, the hard drive will find itself increasingly dangerous.

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